Tag Archives: Moms

Where is Elfie? (Or Buddy? Or Al?): Random thoughts on that Elf on the Shelf

16 Dec

My friends are so creative, as are many Mrs. Clauses all over the Internets sharing their Elf escapades.

You know, like the one where the kids thought Buddy, the family Elf, had been making s’mores with candles the night before.

Or the one where Elfie was up all night playing cards with friends!

Elf with a pick up line!

Elf with a marker — whaaat?!

There are lists upon lists to inspire moms of all ranges of creativity.

Well, all of that is really cute and all, but I am just not getting the whole Elf thing.

I spend my entire day picking up after my family of five.  Why in the world would I make an even bigger mess in the name of Elfdom?

And why is that crazy Elf so mischievous, anyway?  I thought the elves were helpful to Santa.  When I grew up, the story went that you had to be good because Santa and his elves were watching…so they could spend all their non-watching time making toys for the good boys an girls.  Elves were helpers.  Not rabble-rousers!

And why, oh why, does the Elf have such mystery and magic surrounding him?  We spend the first three years of life logically explaining that there ARE no monsters, boogie men are not real and the dark is nothing to be afraid of because the things we imagine are just that: imaginary.  And then we expect them to believe in a tooth fairy, an Easter bunny, and a Santa Claus, all of which are home invaders in the middle of the night, benevolent as they may be.  And we want to ADD to that another layer of confusion with the whole elf thing?  I’ve got plenty on my hands with explaining the whole Santa-sleigh-and-reindeer-covering-the-surface-of-the-world-in-an-evening theory.

Besides, my kids are pretty realistic.  They are not going to believe even for a minute in that plastic face (wearing makeup!) with the permanent grin that he comes alive at night and sleeps during the day.  Besides I obviously got to bed after they do each night, they would spot on know that I am designated Elf-mover, without a doubt.  Whose kids are really falling for this, anyway?  And are these parents the ones that are *so shocked and sad* when their very own children don’t believe in Santa anymore?  I mean, they’ve been trying that theory on something obviously not real.  Trying to press it on something maybe not real but I am not sure is pretty much going to dial it down into the I’m pretty sure none of this is real category in a further, faster fashion.

And then there is the whole business about Christmas time. And what it really means.  Before I get all preachy, let me just point out that December is decidedly and unequivocally the busiest month of the year.  I checked my let twice early this year and I am still baking, wrapping, shopping, and scurrying; I am not sure how people do it who wait till the last minute.  I have absolutely enjoyed every moment of this Advent season this year.  But I can assure you it has NOT been because I have added that “one more thing” to my already long to-do list.  When I’m ready for bed, I’m getting in bed.  I am not rolling the kitchen with toilet paper and framing Paulie the Elf for my crime.  (Only to have to pick all that trash up in the morning…as I am in the school rush of packing lunches and backpacks and finding sweaters, gloves and coats…)

And let me point out that if the ulterior motive for the Elf is to make children behave in the “Elferella is watching!” fashion, then let me also suggest that perhaps these parents have a bit more work ahead of them in the behavior management category.  I need no Elf to raise my children.  And I need no Elf management to justify my Santa spending.  My children probably get more that what they deserve for Christmas, but I’m not so ashamed of it that I have to make them submissive to feel like it’s justified.  I’m not being self- righteous, just elf-righteous.  I’m certainly not perfect but I don’t need his help.

I know I’m not alone here.  I’m not the only one mystified by the Elf-loving mommies who seemingly spend hours upon hours creatively brewing up mischief and mayhem for Mortimer the Elf to make for the next morning.

We are not the perfect family and we don’t want to take the humbug out of Christmas fun.  We are, however, celebrating our saviour’s birth this month, and that is the reason for our season.  It isn’t about elves or mischief or naught/nice lists or even santa.  While we do not correct our children’s “beliefs” in these departments we do not celebrate Advent for this reason.  Santa does make a visit on Christmas Eve, and thankfully, he does it without any help from Elfie.  Or Buddy, Max, Sophie or Sammy.

He just stops here because the spirit of Christ-mas has filled him with such joy that he wishes to share it.  And for that, we are glad recipients.




Comment on Current Events: In the Wake of Tragedy

9 Oct

Last week a university student visited a friend’s room, where he used her computer to live stream images from a secretly placed video camera showing his own roommate as he shared an intimate moment with a male friend.  A few days later, the victim of the prank tragically jumped off the George Washington Bridge.  In the week following, our media has responded on many levels, addressing the issues of bullying, invasion of privacy, gay rights, and personal responsibility

While all of these issues deserve a fair amount of discussion, in our homes and within our families we must discuss the realities of these actions at the most basic level.  Vicky Bell’s Letter to My Daughter (in the Wake of Senseless Tragedy) expresses this the best I have seen, and I hope you will take the time to read it.  And share it with your children.

He is risen indeed!

20 Apr

April 2010

Christmas 2009

20 Apr

December 2009

This Christmas was special in many ways.  Boo and AC had recently recovered from ENT surgeries (and Boo was growing massive amounts of hair!).  J3 was really getting big, and enjoyed his break from school.  We had a lot to be thankful for this season, and one thing was that we spent a large portion of this holiday with just our family together.  We visited with the extended family some, but most of the holiday was spent with just us.  This made for some of the most special and treasured memories and teachable moments our family has cherished so far.  We are so, so blessed!

The Preschool Years: Off we grow

20 Apr

August 2009

First days of school for kids little:

…and (sniff…sniff)..

for kids big…

Just like that.

The preschool years are over.

Bye mom.  Have a great life. day.


The Preschool Years: NYC

20 Apr

February 2009

I was 30 before I went to NYC for the first time.

J3 was 5.

Mommy I don’t feel good. (The sweetest sound I could have heard!)

24 May
It has been a roller coaster week of emotions for me.  For two years my daughter has had a condition that we have not been able to figure out.  We have been to nine doctors, from her local primary doctor, to a world -renowned expert, and everyone in between.  But for some reason, everyone can agree that there is an issue, but no one can diagnose precisely what the issue is.  For the most part, everyone has done a fairly good job of convincing me that she does not have a rare but serious disease and that her condition is not life-threatening, and the difficult part has been finding childcare for my other children during the times that we have had tests done or to drive longer distances for day trips to the doctors in other cities.  I have tried to remain strong, and I’ve done a pretty good job at it.  Normally an emotional person, I’ve kept myself in check, not shedding  a tear over this entire experience, fully believing that “rule out” tests were simply that:  ruling out remote possibilities and not likely chances of drastic diseases.  I have prayed and prayed and remained steadfast and faithful that God WILL bring us through whatever comes down this path.  Should we get an ugly diagnosis, we will deal with it, whatever it is.  Should we get a simple, easily treatable one, we will be abundantly thankful.  Either way, I have tried to look for the way we should glorify Him in this entire experience.  It’s been hard.  A three year old shouldn’t really have to bear burdens of life’s bigger issues, in my opinion.   

Of course there has always been that nagging feeling in the back of my mind, that “what if” factor that keeps me awake in the middle of the night, that makes me second guess every routine childhood illness, that creeps into my thoughts when she complains about simple aches and pains.   I have read and re-read to myself Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in Me, the Lord, with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Me, and I will direct your paths.”  Most of the time it works; I know He has us in his hands and Satan’s tempting thoughts of fear are chased away by loving thouths of God’s faithfulness to our family and thoughts that He WILL direct us.   

This week was tough.  Our whole physician team was re-worked.  One specialist sort of gave up on the whole thing.  Our primary physician is restructuring a plan for us.  Complicating matters are these bothersome little swollen lymph nodes that won’t seem to go back to normal.  This week those suddenly became a real issue.  And I didn’t like hearing that one bit.  It made everything seem very real, very scary, and much more than the superficial condition I was hoping this was.  It made it all seem like a real health issue, something we are really going to have to deal with.  If those nodes were swollen just to be swollen, that was a bad thing.  If they were swollen due to something else, like an ear infection or a virus, they  are considered “reactive” and that could be just a normal reaction.  (Although it wouldn’t really explain why she is sick so often, it would at least indicate that they are reactive instead of malignant.)  While I am usually very happy for a healthy report in the doctor’s office, that day I felt very unfortunate that there was no ear infection, no sore throat, no headache.  Nothing but a healthy looking kid.  With golf-ball sized lymph nodes.      

Wednesday I was at my Bible Study, what better place?!, and I asked them to pray for Boo.  I didn’t really want to get into the details and I didn’t want to get upset or worried about it, but I knew she needed the prayers.   While they prayed for her, I felt the tears coming.  First time in two years, mind you.  Unfortunately, I forgot all about Proverbs 3.  I just sat there and cried and cried.  Strangely, my Bible study leader, who knew nothing about my personal reading, said to me, “I don’t know why but this verse just came to me, and she quoted Proverbs 3:5-6.  I knew then that God was probably a little disappointed that I’d not done what He’d asked.  I wasn’t trusting in Him and I certainly wasn’t acknowledging Him.  I was just wallowing in self-pity and doubt and all the ugly things that Satan can plant in a fearful mother’s head.  

So I left there and screwed up my courage and faith and I have been repeating the Proverbs passage to myself ever since.   

And you know what?  We had to play hookey from church this morning.  Boo woke up with a sore throat.  A bad one.  Can’t eat.  Can’t sleep.  Can barely talk.  I’ve never been so glad for her to be sick in my life.  Those nodes are reactive.  At least for now, and I’ll take that.  it may not explain anything, but I won’t be leaning on my understanding.  I’ll just wait for His direction and take it from there.   

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